News   /   Interviews

US police brutality is not about black people or homicide, says analyst

Police dogs attack a 17-year-old protester at a civil rights demonstration in Birmingham, Alabama on 3 May, 1963.

Police brutality in the United States is not necessarily about “homicide” committed by American cops or even “racial disparity” but has deeper roots in the country, says a political activist based in Virginia.

Keith Preston, the chief editor and director of made the remarks to Press TV on Monday, while commenting on a Washington Post report on the number of those fatally shot by police in 2015.

According to the report, nearly 1,000 people died at the hands of police in 2015, of which 90 percent were unarmed.

Preston noted that there are more significant aspects to the issue than this.

“It’s a mistake to merely look at homicides that are carried out by police officers,” he said. “A much more serious or pervasive problem is police brutality that does not result in an actual homicide.”

Being subject to “assault” or “robbery” in the hands of police or evidence “planted” by them against innocent people are more “common than actual murders carried out by police.”

The issue is not even limited to that, Preston said, warning over police militarization in the country.

“For example, we have this paramilitary SWAT teams that conduct tens of thousands of raids on private homes on an annual basis” he said, asserting that police brutality particularly drew attention over racial disparity.

“The issues that are covered the most are not necessarily the main issues that need to be examined. The issue never started to get any attention until people started noticing the racial disparity involved.”

The brutality “cuts across” racial and other boundaries, the analyst argued, suggesting that conservatives and liberals in the US both approach the matter for their own benefit.  

“The issue is framed in a way that is not entirely appropriate. On the one hand, we have the left that tries to make this into a race issue and on the other, we have the right that tries to make it into either support-your-local-police issues… or a pro-gun one,” Preston said.

The brutality has been “building up” since early 1980s but “started to get more attention in recent years in part because of racial disparity.”

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku